Went to Thailand (twice!) this summer. The first trip was up north in Isaan to visit Khmer ruins. Only saw three but they were gorgeous. The first site we visited was Phanom Rung in Buriram province. We stayed in Buriram city and hired a taxi for the day to drive us out there. (It is possible to take a bus/moto combination to get there, tough.) Hot and humid as you would expect in Thailand in August.
Took us 2-3 hours to stomp around the whole site and it contains several buildings in addition to the central towers. Shot some video and took dozens of pics.
Phanom Rung was built in the 10th-13th centuries, using sandstone and laterite. It was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and reflects the strong Indian influence in early Southeast Asian cultures.
The three walkways feature naga bridges leading to the central stupa where the royalty would gather.
In the inner sanctuary, there is a statue of the male organ, known as the lingam in Sanskrit. There was a crowd of visitors gathered around the phallus and they prayed and paid their respects to this symbol of creation and fertility.
Next to Phanom Rung is Muang Tam a similar Khmer structure. I will cover that in my next post.